Sunday, March 14, 2010

Boo Hole

I think I've posted about To Kill a Mockingbird before. It's one of my favorite books. I love the story and Atticus is one of the most incredible and upstanding characters I've ever read about in literature. I teach it with my students and read the book over and over again.

Harper Lee broke silence four years ago and wrote an open letter to Oprah to be published in O magazine. She writes about growing up with an endless supply of books in her house and how students are more into electronics today than reading. She argues that no one wants to curl up with a cold hard computer, while she spent many nights up late with a book. I couldn't agree with her more. I use the letter with my students and we talk about whether they agree with Harper Lee or not about students and how much they read. It's always a great and interesting conversation.

A year or two ago I stumbled across this website by a woman who creates Boo Holes.

Boo Holes are holes that she finds in trees much like the one Jem and Scout encounter in To Kill a Mockingbird. She plays "Boo Radley" and hides gifts in these trees for the children in her neighborhood to find. She encourages people who visit her website to do the same and send her pictures of these Boo holes.

I love this idea! What a great way to pass on a part of this story to others. The woman who started the site has a list of items you can buy to put in the Boo Hole. I'm thinking you could find some fun stuff at flea markets, craft shows or magic/hobby shops.
So what are you waiting for? The weather is getting nicer and kids are going to be outside more and more. How about looking around your neighborhood for a Boo Hole? I know I'm going to start looking out for one. What would you put in your Boo Hole?

"Neighbors bring food with death and flowers with sickness and little things in between. Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good-luck pennies, and our lives. But neighbors give in return. We never put back into the tree what we took out of it: we had given him nothing, and it made me sad..."

~Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird


Mina Carlisle said...

To Kill a Mockingbird is my favorite book of all time. I've read it to pieces and I really hope that I get to teach it myself one day and share just how wonderful it is with my future students and children (one of whom will be a Harper, make no mistake, her name is set in stone).

I love the idea of doing Boo Holes. I know the perfect tree on my college campus for it too.

I think I'd put a mixture of things in there, maybe even themes. I think little bits of encouragement would be nice, especially around exam times when all of us are feeling absolutely like we are the biggest failures ever.

Also, thanks for the crossed fingers about me finding a teaching job in the future! I really appreciate it!

margosita said...

Like everyone, I love "To Kill a Mockingbird" (though I do have some reservations about it- that's another story for another time). But I really dislike Harper Lee's open letter to Oprah. Lately I've really grown to hate most things people say that boil down to "oh, kids these days!" As if kids born today are simply not as curious or smart as any given adult was as a kid.

If kids aren't reading as much today, it is probably because of parents today or adults today who aren't showing their children how great books are. And the idea that kids don't want to curl up with a "cold hard computer" is just sort of off base. I'm not a kid and certainly love curling up with a good book, but there are also times I'll wrap myself in a blanket and stay up with my laptop on my lap.

More resources and technology aren't bad, so long as kids are still being given books and given the chance to discover reading (on paper, screen, whatever).

Emilia Plater said...

Aww, boo holes! Hahaha. Even when I was a kid, I was definitely a computer addict, but I read a lot of books on top of that. These days... I plead guilty to letting the computer take over the books. I'm really trying to fix that.

Christina Lee said...

I LOVE this idea!! Oh and what a good teacher you must be :) p.s. I left some sun in FL for you!

Lisa Nowak said...

We have a lot of big leaf maples on our street with boo holes in them. They tend to rot out, so it's a natural thing with this type of tree. Most of the holes aren't particularly attractive. You'd think twice about sticking your hand in them. But there's this really cute, round, perfect one up high in the tree outside my bedroom window. I'd have to leave treats for squirrels in it, because it's about 15 feet off the ground.